How to Remove Tea Stains from Clothes

How to Remove Tea Stains from Clothes

We all love a brew, from green tea to a “good ol’ fashioned cuppa”, but what we don’t love are the stains they leave behind, especially on our clothes. After all, who hasn’t spilt a mug or two in their lifetime?

So, how do you take out those stupid stains that don’t seem to go away? What’s the magic trick to get your clothes looking like new again?

Don’t worry. Take a deep breath and relax.

There are many ways you can remove those tea stains, without having to break your bank account, or use industrial chemicals.

You can do this all from the comfort of your own home, and with things you might already have in your cupboard.

So, here are a few tips, on how to remove tea stains from your clothes.


1. Cold Water and Stain Remover

If you’re washing tea-stained clothes in the washing machine, use a cool setting on your machine (20°C), since hot water can discolour the garment, even after removing the stain.

You can even soak the garment in warm (30°C) water and stain remover, before washing it too. Don’t use hot water of 40°C or above.

All you need to do is:

  1. Rinse out as much of the tea stain as possible (don’t rub it off)
  2. Mix a dash of stain remover with warm water
  3. Let the garment soak for at least half an hour
  4. Take out the garment and stick it in the wash

Et voila! No more tea stain!

Of course, some households might not have stain remover, so those who don’t might want to try other methods.


2. Warm Water and Laundry Detergent

Removing Tea Stain with Warm Water

If you don’t have any stain remover, then try laundry detergent.

Make sure you run the stained garment under warm (but not hot) water or around 30°C this time:

  1. Rinse out as much of the stain as you possibly can
  2. Add a few drops of laundry detergent on both sides of the stain
  3. Rub until it lathers
  4. Wash it out
  5. Then stick the garment in the wash.

That’s it!

Of course, these tips are for those small spills, like a little dribble, or a small splatter. You might have accidentally spilt the whole cup on you, and these methods can be very tedious and repetitive, for larger stains.


3. White Vinegar, Laundry Powder & Water

Removing Tea Stain with White Vinegar

This method is for those old stains that washing with stain remover or detergent doesn’t work on. Even after 10 washes, the stain’s still there. So, you need something a little more powerful.

White vinegar is one of the best stain removers thanks to the acetic acid it contains, which is known for its stain removing properties.

Of course, be sure you’re using white vinegar and not brown malt vinegar, because the latter will stain your clothes more!

So, to remove your stains simply:

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar, laundry powder and water (start off with 2 tablespoons of each), until it becomes a paste.
  2. Use a toothbrush to brush the paste onto the stain
  3. Rinse it out
  4. Repeat if necessary
  5. Then stick the garment in the wash

And that’s it! The stain should disappear.

Now, there may be some households that don’t use laundry powder. That’s ok. Use baking soda (aka. bicarbonate of soda) instead. It has similar properties to laundry powder and is actually a great cleaner (even for your mugs and teacups!).

Just remember, try to avoid the tumble dryer after washing the garment, because the residue of the stain might just set in, and you might not be able to remove it at all afterwards. So, dry the garment on a washing line instead.


4. Toothpaste

If it can clean your teeth, why not clean your clothes? Toothpaste is another great stain remover, since it already removes most stains on your teeth.

All you need to do is:

  1. Scrub the toothpaste all over the stain
  2. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes
  3. Rinse it out thoroughly
  4. Repeat if necessary
  5. Then stick it in the wash!

It’s as simple as that! Of course, just remember to avoid using toothpastes with whitening agents. These contain bleaching agents, which can discolour your clothes, if they’re coloured.

So, if you’re using toothpaste, just use the regular ones.


5. Lemon Juice

Removing Tea Stain with Lemon Juice

One of nature’s best stain removers is lemon juice. Like white vinegar, lemon juice contains acids that have stain-removing properties. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the best agents to help remove tea stains.

They can be used for quick solutions, and if mixed with cream of tartar, they can completely remove the stain altogether. Simply squirt the lemon juice onto the stain, rinse the stain under warm water, and put it in the wash.


  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, until it becomes a paste
  2. Work the paste onto the stain, with a toothbrush or clean white cloth
  3. Let it sit for at least half an hour or even 1 hour
  4. Rinse it out with warm water
  5. Repeat if necessary
  6. Then stick it in the wash.

Sometimes, even letting your tea-stained clothes sit overnight can help, so you don’t need to rinse and repeat every time!


Things to Remember

So, now you know how to remove tea stains, all it takes is some practice. Just remember, your clothes are delicate, and every tip might not work for every type of clothing. Sometimes, you may need to go to a dry cleaner for professional help.

And don’t forget:

  • Don’t use hot water – It can overpower the stain-removing properties of the products you’re using.
  • Don’t tumble dry – There will always be some residue left, and the heat and humidity of the dryer might set those residues, so you might have a permanent tea stain on your clothes.
  • Always read the label – Certain methods won’t work on certain fabrics, so make sure you know what your garments are made of, and make sure that the solutions don’t permanently discolour your clothes.

Once you remember all of this, you’ll be able to get those tea stains out of your clothes in no time!